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Shabri Kumbh site turns fortress

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February 11, 2006 02:35 IST

The Shabri Kumbh site has become a virtual fortress with hundreds of security personnel being deployed to overlook arrangements at the mythological holy spot in Jarsol village in Gujarat's Dangs district where about 5,00,000 devotees are expected during the three-day mela.

Over 5,000 men of the Gujarat Police, including personnel of the State Reserve Police and Gujarat Police, will be in-charge of the security blanket at the kumbh after Christian missionaries in the region expected trouble from Hindu hardliners and had complained of possible re-conversions of tribals during the kumbh.

However, the organiser of the kumbh, Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad, is sure that peace will continue to remain in the tribal zone, which had witnessed large-scale attacks on the Christian minorities and missionaries during 1998.

"We will not engage in any reconversions," said Suresh Kulkarni, the joint-general secretary of Shabri Kumbh Samiti, who is also overlooking the arrangements for the devotees, at the site where according to Hindu mythology Lord Ram had met his devotee Shabri on the banks of Poorna river.

"Peace will remain and there will not be any law and order problem," he added.

This statement comes before the commencement of the event wherein fire-brand Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leaders including RSS chief K S Sudarshan, VHP International president Ashok Singhal and Sadhvi Ritambara are expected to address the gathering of devotees largely comprising of tribals from Dangs and nearby Maharashtra.

Avinash Nair in Dangs
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